It started three years ago in a parking lot.
Satsuma Realtors team members, three or four boil masters and around 80 of our closest friends and family members got together for an impromptu crawfish cookoff outside the Magazine Street office. By the end of the spring day, our fingers were stained with spices, our bellies were full, and we’d raised more than $2,000 for Habitat for Humanity. We couldn’t wait to do the crawfish competition again, but with more boilers, a bigger venue, and a greater philanthropic impact.
It took three long, pandemic-affected years, but that dream has finally been realized. Our charity crawfish cookoff, “Building by Boiling,” is back and better than ever. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, NOLA Brewing Co. is hosting the fundraiser for Home by Hand, a 501c3 affordable housing developer that helps low- to moderate-income New Orleanians become homeowners.
“I wanted to have a crawfish competition in New Orleans that was meaningful,” said Satsuma Realtors owner, partner and realtor Joshua Fogarty. “I wanted to do philanthropic giving that was real-estate related, so the best thing was to donate to a charity that does community outreach to help people with low-income housing.”
Access to affordable housing has become a crisis in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, according to Oji Alexander, executive director of Home by Hand. The nonprofit helps homebuyers at every step of the process, from credit counseling and financial fitness to help them secure finances and subsidies, to the building process and post-sale homeowner education. Since 2008, they’ve helped more than 200 families buy homes.
“Homeownership is one of the most reliable vehicles for generating wealth, and low to moderate-income families— specifically African-American families—have been denied access to homeownership historically,” Alexander said.
A longtime friend of Fogarty’s, Alexander said the opportunity to participate in Building by Boiling was “a no-brainer.” Fogarty asked him to tap his network of boilers to participate, in order to attract a variety of crawfish styles. Simply CBD, Crescent Canna, Kita & Co., Satsuma Realtors, and Mr. Shrimp are just a few of the boil teams. Crawfish fans can expect to find everything from traditional boils to VietCajun at the all-you-can-eat event. Celebrity judges Rob Krieger from FOX 8 NOLA, Where Black NOLA Eats founder Jalence Isles, founder, Chopped contestant, and head chef of Bywater Brew Pub Anh Luu are tasked with choosing a winner.
There will be live performances by The Quickening from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Honey Island Swamp Band from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., plus a raffle and silent and live auctions, all in support of the organizers’ goal to raise $15,000 for Home by Hand—and we all hope that is just the beginning of Satsuma’s philanthropic impact.
“We’re looking to make this an annual fundraiser and grow it every year, so Building by Boiling becomes synonymous with supporting affordable housing in New Orleans,” Alexander said.
Tickets are available day-of at the door for $50. Children under 8 get in for free!